Licensing, Regulations and Monitoring

family09Licensed Community Residences

The Children’s Community Residences, Foster Care and Nurseries Act, No. 65 of 2000 (the Act) mandates the Authority to establish a robust licensing system for Community Residences. A Community Residence can be designated as either a Children’s Home or Rehabilitation Centre. A Rehabilitation Centre will be used to house children in conflict with the law.

Continuous monitoring and evaluation of Community Residences and training of service providers are critical in ensuring high quality care and protection of children in residential care. To be licensed, Community Residences must meet the minimum requirements that have been established by the Authority.

 

The Licensing Process

All Community Residences, existing and new, must apply for a Residence Licence from the Authority. The application process is standard for all Community Residences. A critical part of the licensing process is the inspection of the Community Residence by the Authority, to assess suitability to deliver child care services. If a Residence Licence is issued, the Authority will continue to monitor the residence’s ability to operate and manage through regular monitoring visits. 

New and existing Community Residences will be licensed in order to:

  1. Provide a standard, equitable and holistic quality of care for children.
  2. Ensure that the Managers of Community Residences possess the training and skills necessary to provide for the effective management of residences.
  3. Ensure that staff of Community Residences possess the adequate skills and capacity to effectively care for children.

 

How is the process initiated?

A newly established Community Residence must submit a Letter of Intent, indicating a desire to become a licensed provider. The letter must indicate the name of the Community Residence and its address

NOTE: The Letter of Intent must be signed by the Manager of the residence.

 

Where can I obtain an application package?

Application packages are available at:
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago
#35A Wrightson Road,
Port-of-Spain

 

What comprises an application for a Residence Licence?

  1. A completed application form which can be downloaded here
  2. Evidence or supporting documentation identified in the application checklist


Note: It is important to complete all sections of the application form, as far as it is practical. The application form requires the insertion of information about the applicant, manager (if different from the applicant), the premises, the children,statutory approvals (Fire Certificate of Approval, the Public Health Certificate of Approval) and the services provided.

 

Where do I submit an application?

Application for a Residence Licence should be submitted to:

Director
Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago
#35A Wrightson Road,
Port-of-Spain
Re: APPLICATION FOR RESIDENCE LICENCE

 

children10Who should be contacted if there is a query about an application?

Once an application has been submitted, the applicant should direct all queries to the Licensing and Monitoring Department by calling 627-0748 ext 2143.

 

How long does an application take to be processed?

The length of time for processing an application is dependent on the quality, appropriateness and adequacy of the submission and the evidence provided to support the application for a Residence Licence. The applicant, however, should receive communication within thirty (30) days of submission of a completed application form.

 

What happens after an application for a Residence Licence is submitted to the Authority?

Upon receipt of an application for a Residence Licence, the Authority will:

  1. Review the application form.
  2. Verify copies of documents with originals.
  3. Inform the manager verbally and in writing if there are outstanding or invalid documents.
  4. Provide the timeframe in which outstanding documents must be submitted.
  5. Sign and update the form to indicate that the application was reviewed.
  6. Once the application is complete, an on-site inspection at the Community Residence will be scheduled.

 

How soon is a date set for an inspection?             

The Authority may, within thirty (30) days of receiving a completed application for a Residence Licence, make arrangements to:

  1. Visit the Community Residence to ascertain whether it satisfies the requirements for licensing.
  2. Notify the applicant of the date, time and place for the applicant to attend an inspection.

 
How is an inspection conducted?

At the scheduled date and time of the inspection, the Authority will convene a meeting with the Manager of the Community Residence to discuss the scope of the activities related to the inspection. This will be followed by a walk-through of the facility.

During the inspection, the Authority’s staff will ascertain whether policies and procedures required for licensing, set out in the regulations, are available, accessible, understood and implemented by staff. This will be done through observations, interviewing the Manager, staff and children, and reviewing documents and records.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

1. What happens after a Residence Licence is issued?

After the issuance of a residence's licence, the Authority will monitor the Community Residence's compliance through regular inspections. These inspections will include both scheduled and unscheduled visits.

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2. How long is a Residence Licence valid?

The Residence Licence is valid for one (1) year and must be renewed annually upon application to the Authority by the licensee.

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3. Can my licence be revoked?

In cases where the Authority recognises that the Community Residence has either failed to maintain the requirements of the licence, or is dissatisfied with the conditions, rules, management or superintendence of a Community Residence, a notice will be served on the licensee or the manager requesting that corrective measures be undertaken within a specific timeframe.

Where a notice has been served on a licensee and the licensee has failed to take the stipulated corrective measures, the Authority may serve notice on the licensee or manager of the decision to revoke the Residence Licence. The Residence Licence may be revoked from such time as specified in the notice; this date not being less than six (6) months after the date of the notice.

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4. What happens to the children if my licence is revoked?

When a licence is revoked, a Community Residence ceases to be a licensed residence, and the Authority shall transfer the children housed at that residence to alternative accommodation.

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5. Can I appeal the decision of the Authority to revoke my licence?

An applicant or licensee can appeal the revocation of a Residence Licence to the Office of the Prime Minister and Gender Affairs, setting out the grounds for the appeal. This appeal must be done within 14 days of the applicant receiving a notice of refusal or revocation of a Residence Licence. Where the Minister dismisses an appeal made to him, the aggrieved person may, by Fixed Date Claim serve on the Authority and the Minister, an appeal to a judge.

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6. Surrender of a licence

If a licensee wishes to surrender their Residence Licence, he/she may do so by giving the Authority six months' notice in writing. At the expiration of six months from the date of the notice, the residence will cease to be a Community Residence.

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7. Does the Children’s Authority provide financial aid to Community Residences?

No, the Children’s Authority does not provide financial aid to Community Residences. Financial Aid can be obtained through the Office of the Prime Minister and Gender Affairs individual donors.

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8. Can Community Residences receive children into care from other persons/ agencies such as the Police, National Family Services or a parent without notice to the Authority?

Notification must be given to the Children's Authority on all new admissions to; and any discharges from the Community Residence.

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